DALLAS (April 9, 2003)—July 28 is still the date for a Dallas court to start hearing a tread separation case against Bridgestone/Firestone (BFS) and Ford Motor Co. emanating from a bloc of 31 Mexican and Venezuelan lawsuits.
The two companies have tried to dismiss the cases based on a claim that the tires weren't manufactured in Texas and that the cases should be tried in their countries of origin.
Plaintiffs argue that the tires were tested in Texas—a claim Ford and BFS deny—and that it would be virtually impossible to obtain a jury trial in Mexico or Venezuela.
Although the Texas Supreme Court has denied BFS´s appeal, the tire maker has taken the case back to the Dallas appeals court.
Bridgestone/Firestone isn't sure whether the Supreme Court refused to hear the company's appeal on its merits or on the strictly procedural grounds that the Dallas circuit judge who originally denied the company's motion to dismiss has since left the bench. The company wants a ruling on the merits, a BFS spokesman said.